DANE                                                         V. Dukhovni
Internet-Draft                                                 Two Sigma
Intended status: Standards Track                             W. Hardaker
Expires: November 26, 2014                                       Parsons
                                                            May 25, 2014

                SMTP security via opportunistic DANE TLS


   This memo describes a downgrade-resistant protocol for SMTP transport
   security between Mail Transfer Agents (MTAs) based on the DNS-Based
   Authentication of Named Entities (DANE) TLSA DNS record.  Adoption of
   this protocol enables an incremental transition of the Internet email
   backbone to one using encrypted and authenticated Transport Layer
   Security (TLS).

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
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   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on November 26, 2014.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of

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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.1.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.2.  Background  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     1.3.  SMTP channel security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
       1.3.1.  STARTTLS downgrade attack . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
       1.3.2.  Insecure server name without DNSSEC . . . . . . . . .   7
       1.3.3.  Sender policy does not scale  . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
       1.3.4.  Too many certification authorities  . . . . . . . . .   8
   2.  Identifying applicable TLSA records . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     2.1.  DNS considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
       2.1.1.  DNS errors, bogus and indeterminate responses . . . .   8
       2.1.2.  DNS error handling  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
       2.1.3.  Stub resolver considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     2.2.  TLS discovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
       2.2.1.  MX resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
       2.2.2.  Non-MX destinations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
       2.2.3.  TLSA record lookup  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   3.  DANE authentication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
     3.1.  TLSA certificate usages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
       3.1.1.  Certificate usage DANE-EE(3)  . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
       3.1.2.  Certificate usage DANE-TA(2)  . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
       3.1.3.  Certificate usages PKIX-TA(0) and PKIX-EE(1)  . . . .  22
     3.2.  Certificate matching  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
       3.2.1.  DANE-EE(3) name checks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
       3.2.2.  DANE-TA(2) name checks  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
       3.2.3.  Reference identifier matching . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
   4.  Server key management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25
   5.  Digest algorithm agility  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  26
   6.  Mandatory TLS Security  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27
   7.  Note on DANE for Message User Agents  . . . . . . . . . . . .  28
   8.  Interoperability considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29
     8.1.  SNI support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29
     8.2.  Anonymous TLS cipher suites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29
   9.  Operational Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  30
     9.1.  Client Operational Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . .  30
     9.2.  Publisher Operational Considerations  . . . . . . . . . .  30
   10. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
   11. IANA considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
   12. Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31
   13. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  32
     13.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  32
     13.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  33

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1.  Introduction

   This memo specifies a new connection security model for Message
   Transfer Agents (MTAs).  This model is motivated by key features of
   inter-domain SMTP delivery, in particular the fact that the
   destination server is selected indirectly via DNS Mail Exchange (MX)
   records and that neither email addresses nor MX hostnames signal a
   requirement for either secure or cleartext transport.  Therefore,
   aside from a few manually configured exceptions, SMTP transport
   security is of necessity opportunistic.

   This specification uses the presence of DANE TLSA records to securely
   signal TLS support and to publish the means by which SMTP clients can
   successfully authenticate legitimate SMTP servers.  This becomes
   "opportunistic DANE TLS" and is resistant to downgrade and MITM
   attacks.  It enables an incremental transition of the email backbone
   to authenticated TLS delivery, with increased global protection as
   adoption increases.

   With opportunistic DANE TLS, traffic from SMTP clients to domains
   that publish "usable" DANE TLSA records in accordance with this memo
   is authenticated and encrypted.  Traffic from legacy clients or to
   domains that do not publish TLSA records will continue to be sent in
   the same manner as before, via manually configured security, (pre-
   DANE) opportunistic TLS or just cleartext SMTP.

   Problems with existing use of TLS in MTA to MTA SMTP that motivate
   this specification are described in Section 1.3.  The specification
   itself follows in Section 2 and Section 3 which describe respectively
   how to locate and use DANE TLSA records with SMTP.  In Section 6, we
   discuss application of DANE TLS to destinations for which channel
   integrity and confidentiality are mandatory.  In Section 7 we briefly
   comment on potential applicability of this specification to Message
   User Agents.

1.1.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in

   The following terms or concepts are used through the document:

   Man-in-the-middle or MITM attack:  Active modification of network
      traffic by an adversary able to thereby compromise the
      confidentiality or integrity of the data.

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   secure, bogus, insecure, indeterminate:  DNSSEC validation results,
      as defined in Section 4.3 of [RFC4035].

   Validating Security-Aware Stub Resolver and     Non-Validating
   Security-Aware Stub Resolver:
      Capabilities of the stub resolver in use as defined in [RFC4033];
      note that this specification requires the use of a Security-Aware
      Stub Resolver; Security-Oblivious stub-resolvers MUST NOT be used.

   opportunistic DANE TLS:  Best-effort use of TLS, resistant to
      downgrade attacks for destinations with DNSSEC-validated TLSA
      records.  When opportunistic DANE TLS is determined to be
      unavailable, clients should fall back to opportunistic TLS below.
      Opportunistic DANE TLS requires support for DNSSEC, DANE and
      STARTTLS on the client side and STARTTLS plus a DNSSEC published
      TLSA record on the server side.

   (pre-DANE) opportunistic TLS:  Best-effort use of TLS that is
      generally vulnerable to DNS forgery and STARTTLS downgrade
      attacks.  When a TLS-encrypted communication channel is not
      available, message transmission takes place in the clear.  MX
      record indirection generally precludes authentication even when
      TLS is available.

   reference identifier:  (Special case of [RFC6125] definition).  One
      of the domain names associated by the SMTP client with the
      destination SMTP server for performing name checks on the server
      certificate.  When name checks are applicable, at least one of the
      reference identifiers MUST match an [RFC6125] DNS-ID (or if none
      are present the [RFC6125] CN-ID) of the server certificate (see
      Section 3.2.3).

   MX hostname:  The RRDATA of an MX record consists of a 16 bit
      preference followed by a Mail Exchange domain name (see [RFC1035],
      Section 3.3.9).  We will use the term "MX hostname" to refer to
      the latter, that is, the DNS domain name found after the
      preference value in an MX record.  Thus an "MX hostname" is
      specifically a reference to a DNS domain name, rather than any
      host that bears that name.

   delayed delivery:  Email delivery is a multi-hop store & forward
      process.  When an MTA is unable forward a message that may become
      deliverable later, the message is queued and delivery is retried
      periodically.  Some MTAs may be configured with a fallback next-
      hop destination that handles messages that the MTA would otherwise
      queue and retry.  In these cases, messages that would otherwise
      have to be delayed, may be sent to the fallback next-hop
      destination instead.  The fallback destination may itself be

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      subject to opportunistic or mandatory DANE TLS as though it were
      the original message destination.

   original next hop destination:   The logical destination for mail
      delivery.  By default this is the domain portion of the recipient
      address, but MTAs may be configured to forward mail for some or
      all recipients via designated relays.  The original next hop
      destination is, respectively, either the recipient domain or the
      associated configured relay.

   MTA:   Message Transfer Agent ([RFC5598], Section 4.3.2).

   MSA:   Message Submission Agent ([RFC5598], Section 4.3.1).

   MUA:   Message User Agent ([RFC5598], Section 4.2.1).

   RR:   A DNS Resource Record

   RRset:   A set of DNS Resource Records for a particular class, domain
      and record type.

1.2.  Background

   The Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) add data origin
   authentication, data integrity and data non-existence proofs to the
   Domain Name System (DNS).  DNSSEC is defined in [RFC4033], [RFC4034]
   and [RFC4035].

   As described in the introduction of [RFC6698], TLS authentication via
   the existing public Certification Authority (CA) PKI suffers from an
   over-abundance of trusted parties capable of issuing certificates for
   any domain of their choice.  DANE leverages the DNSSEC infrastructure
   to publish trusted public keys and certificates for use with the
   Transport Layer Security (TLS) [RFC5246] protocol via a new "TLSA"
   DNS record type.  With DNSSEC each domain can only vouch for the keys
   of its directly delegated sub-domains.

   The TLS protocol enables secure TCP communication.  In the context of
   this memo, channel security is assumed to be provided by TLS.  Used
   without authentication, TLS provides only privacy protection against
   eavesdropping attacks.  With authentication, TLS also provides data
   integrity protection to guard against MITM attacks.

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1.3.  SMTP channel security

   With HTTPS, Transport Layer Security (TLS) employs X.509 certificates
   [RFC5280] issued by one of the many Certificate Authorities (CAs)
   bundled with popular web browsers to allow users to authenticate
   their "secure" websites.  Before we specify a new DANE TLS security
   model for SMTP, we will explain why a new security model is needed.
   In the process, we will explain why the familiar HTTPS security model
   is inadequate to protect inter-domain SMTP traffic.

   The subsections below outline four key problems with applying
   traditional PKI to SMTP that are addressed by this specification.
   Since SMTP channel security policy is not explicitly specified in
   either the recipient address or the MX record, a new signaling
   mechanism is required to indicate when channel security is possible
   and should be used.  The publication of TLSA records allows server
   operators to securely signal to SMTP clients that TLS is available
   and should be used.  DANE TLSA makes it possible to simultaneously
   discover which destination domains support secure delivery via TLS
   and how to verify the authenticity of the associated SMTP services,
   providing a path forward to ubiquitous SMTP channel security.

1.3.1.  STARTTLS downgrade attack

   The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) [RFC5321] is a single-hop
   protocol in a multi-hop store & forward email delivery process.  SMTP
   envelope recipient addresses are not transport addresses and are
   security-agnostic.  Unlike the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and
   its corresponding secured version, HTTPS, where the use of TLS is
   signaled via the URI scheme, email recipient addresses do not
   directly signal transport security policy.  Indeed, no such signaling
   could work well with SMTP since TLS encryption of SMTP protects email
   traffic on a hop-by-hop basis while email addresses could only
   express end-to-end policy.

   With no mechanism available to signal transport security policy, SMTP
   relays employ a best-effort "opportunistic" security model for TLS.
   A single SMTP server TCP listening endpoint can serve both TLS and
   non-TLS clients; the use of TLS is negotiated via the SMTP STARTTLS
   command ([RFC3207]).  The server signals TLS support to the client
   over a cleartext SMTP connection, and, if the client also supports
   TLS, it may negotiate a TLS encrypted channel to use for email
   transmission.  The server's indication of TLS support can be easily
   suppressed by an MITM attacker.  Thus pre-DANE SMTP TLS security can
   be subverted by simply downgrading a connection to cleartext.  No TLS
   security feature, such as the use of PKIX, can prevent this.  The
   attacker can simply disable TLS.

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1.3.2.  Insecure server name without DNSSEC

   With SMTP, DNS Mail Exchange (MX) records abstract the next-hop
   transport endpoint and allow administrators to specify a set of
   target servers to which SMTP traffic should be directed for a given

   A PKIX TLS client is vulnerable to MITM attacks unless it verifies
   that the server's certificate binds the public key to a name that
   matches one of the client's reference identifiers.  A natural choice
   of reference identifier is the server's domain name.  However, with
   SMTP, server names are obtained indirectly via MX records.  Without
   DNSSEC, the MX lookup is vulnerable to MITM and DNS cache poisoning
   attacks.  Active attackers can forge DNS replies with fake MX records
   and can redirect email to servers with names of their choice.
   Therefore, secure verification of SMTP TLS certificates matching the
   server name is not possible without DNSSEC.

   One might try to harden TLS for SMTP against DNS attacks by using the
   envelope recipient domain as a reference identifier and requiring
   each SMTP server to possess a trusted certificate for the envelope
   recipient domain rather than the MX hostname.  Unfortunately, this is
   impractical as email for many domains is handled by third parties
   that are not in a position to obtain certificates for all the domains
   they serve.  Deployment of the Server Name Indication (SNI) extension
   to TLS (see [RFC6066] Section 3) is no panacea, since SNI key
   management is operationally challenging except when the email service
   provider is also the domain's registrar and its certificate issuer;
   this is rarely the case for email.

   Since the recipient domain name cannot be used as the SMTP server
   reference identifier, and neither can the MX hostname without DNSSEC,
   large-scale deployment of authenticated TLS for SMTP requires that
   the DNS be secure.

   Since SMTP security depends critically on DNSSEC, it is important to
   point out that consequently SMTP with DANE is the most conservative
   possible trust model.  It trusts only what must be trusted and no
   more.  Adding any other trusted actors to the mix can only reduce
   SMTP security.  A sender may choose to further harden DNSSEC for
   selected high-value receiving domains, by configuring explicit trust
   anchors for those domains instead of relying on the chain of trust
   from the root domain.  Detailed discussion of DNSSEC security
   practices is out of scope for this document.

1.3.3.  Sender policy does not scale

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   Sending systems are in some cases explicitly configured to use TLS
   for mail sent to selected peer domains.  This requires sending MTAs
   to be configured with appropriate subject names or certificate
   content digests to expect in the presented server certificates.
   Because of the heavy administrative burden, such statically
   configured SMTP secure channels are used rarely (generally only
   between domains that make bilateral arrangements with their business
   partners).  Internet email, on the other hand, requires regularly
   contacting new domains for which security configurations cannot be
   established in advance.

   The abstraction of the SMTP transport endpoint via DNS MX records,
   often across organization boundaries, limits the use of public CA PKI
   with SMTP to a small set of sender-configured peer domains.  With
   little opportunity to use TLS authentication, sending MTAs are rarely
   configured with a comprehensive list of trusted CAs.  SMTP services
   that support STARTTLS often deploy X.509 certificates that are self-
   signed or issued by a private CA.

1.3.4.  Too many certification authorities

   Even if it were generally possible to determine a secure server name,
   the SMTP client would still need to verify that the server's
   certificate chain is issued by a trusted Certification Authority (a
   trust anchor).  MTAs are not interactive applications where a human
   operator can make a decision (wisely or otherwise) to selectively
   disable TLS security policy when certificate chain verification
   fails.  With no user to "click OK", the MTAs list of public CA trust
   anchors would need to be comprehensive in order to avoid bouncing
   mail addressed to sites that employ unknown Certification

   On the other hand, each trusted CA can issue certificates for any
   domain.  If even one of the configured CAs is compromised or operated
   by an adversary, it can subvert TLS security for all destinations.
   Any set of CAs is simultaneously both overly inclusive and not
   inclusive enough.

2.  Identifying applicable TLSA records

2.1.  DNS considerations

2.1.1.  DNS errors, bogus and indeterminate responses

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   An SMTP client that implements opportunistic DANE TLS per this
   specification depends critically on the integrity of DNSSEC lookups,
   as discussed in Section 1.3.  This section lists the DNS resolver
   requirements needed to avoid downgrade attacks when using
   opportunistic DANE TLS.

   A DNS lookup may signal an error or return a definitive answer.  A
   security-aware resolver must be used for this specification.
   Security-aware resolvers will indicate the security status of a DNS
   RRset with one of four possible values defined in Section 4.3 of
   [RFC4035]: "secure", "insecure", "bogus" and "indeterminate".  In
   [RFC4035] the meaning of the "indeterminate" security status is:

     An RRset for which the resolver is not able to determine whether
     the RRset should be signed, as the resolver is not able to obtain
     the necessary DNSSEC RRs.  This can occur when the security-aware
     resolver is not able to contact security-aware name servers for
     the relevant zones.

   Note, the "indeterminate" security status has a conflicting
   definition in section 5 of [RFC4033].

     There is no trust anchor that would indicate that a specific
     portion of the tree is secure.

   SMTP clients following this specification SHOULD NOT distinguish
   between "insecure" and "indeterminate" in the [RFC4033] sense.  Both
   "insecure" and RFC4033 "indeterminate" are handled identically: in
   either case unvalidated data for the query domain is all that is and
   can be available, and authentication using the data is impossible.
   In what follows, when we say "insecure", we include also DNS results
   for domains that lie in a portion of the DNS tree for which there is
   no applicable trust anchor.  With the DNS root zone signed, we expect
   that validating resolvers used by Internet-facing MTAs will be
   configured with trust anchor data for the root zone.  Therefore,
   RFC4033-style "indeterminate" domains should be rare in practice.
   From here on, when we say "indeterminate", it is exclusively in the
   sense of [RFC4035].

   As noted in section 4.3 of [RFC4035], a security-aware DNS resolver
   MUST be able to determine whether a given non-error DNS response is
   "secure", "insecure", "bogus" or "indeterminate".  It is expected
   that most security-aware stub resolvers will not signal an
   "indeterminate" security status in the RFC4035-sense to the
   application, and will signal a "bogus" or error result instead.  If a
   resolver does signal an RFC4035 "indeterminate" security status, this
   MUST be treated by the SMTP client as though a "bogus" or error
   result had been returned.

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   An MTA making use of a non-validating security-aware stub resolver
   MAY use the stub resolver's ability, if available, to signal DNSSEC
   validation status based on information the stub resolver has learned
   from an upstream validating recursive resolver.  In accordance with
   section 4.9.3 of [RFC4035]:

     ... a security-aware stub resolver MUST NOT place any reliance on
     signature validation allegedly performed on its behalf, except
     when the security-aware stub resolver obtained the data in question
     from a trusted security-aware recursive name server via a secure

   To avoid much repetition in the text below, we will pause to explain
   the handling of "bogus" or "indeterminate" DNSSEC query responses.
   These are not necessarily the result of a malicious actor; they can,
   for example, occur when network packets are corrupted or lost in
   transit.  Therefore, "bogus" or "indeterminate" replies are equated
   in this memo with lookup failure.

   There is an important non-failure condition we need to highlight in
   addition to the obvious case of the DNS client obtaining a non-empty
   "secure" or "insecure" RRset of the requested type.  Namely, it is
   not an error when either "secure" or "insecure" non-existence is
   determined for the requested data.  When a DNSSEC response with a
   validation status that is either "secure" or "insecure" reports
   either no records of the requested type or non-existence of the query
   domain, the response is not a DNS error condition.  The DNS client
   has not been left without an answer; it has learned that records of
   the requested type do not exist.

   Security-aware stub resolvers will, of course, also signal DNS lookup
   errors in other cases, for example when processing a "ServFail"
   RCODE, which will not have an associated DNSSEC status.  All lookup
   errors are treated the same way by this specification, regardless of
   whether they are from a "bogus" or "indeterminate" DNSSEC status or
   from a more generic DNS error: the information that was requested
   cannot be obtained by the security-aware resolver at this time.  A
   lookup error is thus a failure to obtain the relevant RRset if it
   exists, or to determine that no such RRset exists when it does not.

   In contrast to a "bogus" or an "indeterminate" response, an
   "insecure" DNSSEC response is not an error, rather it indicates that
   the target DNS zone is either securely opted out of DNSSEC validation
   or is not connected with the DNSSEC trust anchors being used.
   Insecure results will leave the SMTP client with degraded channel
   security, but do not stand in the way of message delivery.  See
   section Section 2.2 for further details.

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2.1.2.  DNS error handling

   When a DNS lookup failure (error or "bogus" or "indeterminate" as
   defined above) prevents an SMTP client from determining which SMTP
   server or servers it should connect to, message delivery MUST be
   delayed.  This naturally includes, for example, the case when a
   "bogus" or "indeterminate" response is encountered during MX
   resolution.  When multiple MX hostnames are obtained from a
   successful MX lookup, but a later DNS lookup failure prevents network
   address resolution for a given MX hostname, delivery may proceed via
   any remaining MX hosts.

   When a particular SMTP server is securely identified as the delivery
   destination, a set of DNS lookups (Section 2.2) MUST be performed to
   locate any related TLSA records.  If any DNS queries used to locate
   TLSA records fail (be it due to "bogus" or "indeterminate" records,
   timeouts, malformed replies, ServFails, etc.), then the SMTP client
   MUST treat that server as unreachable and MUST NOT deliver the
   message via that server.  If no servers are reachable, delivery is

   In what follows, we will only describe what happens when all relevant
   DNS queries succeed.  If any DNS failure occurs, the SMTP client MUST
   behave as described in this section, by skipping the problem SMTP
   server, or the problem destination.  Queries for candidate TLSA
   records are explicitly part of "all relevant DNS queries" and SMTP
   clients MUST NOT continue to connect to an SMTP server or destination
   whose TLSA record lookup fails.

2.1.3.  Stub resolver considerations

   A note about DNAME aliases: a query for a domain name whose ancestor
   domain is a DNAME alias returns the DNAME RR for the ancestor domain,
   along with a CNAME that maps the query domain to the corresponding
   sub-domain of the target domain of the DNAME alias [RFC6672].
   Therefore, whenever we speak of CNAME aliases, we implicitly allow
   for the possibility that the alias in question is the result of an
   ancestor domain DNAME record.  Consequently, no explicit support for
   DNAME records is needed in SMTP software, it is sufficient to process
   the resulting CNAME aliases.  DNAME records only require special
   processing in the validating stub-resolver library that checks the
   integrity of the combined DNAME + CNAME reply.  When DNSSEC
   validation is handled by a local caching resolver, rather than the
   MTA itself, even that part of the DNAME support logic is outside the

   When a stub resolver returns a response containing a CNAME alias that
   does not also contain the corresponding query results for the target

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   of the alias, the SMTP client will need to repeat the query at the
   target of the alias, and should do so recursively up to some
   configured or implementation-dependent recursion limit.  If at any
   stage of CNAME expansion an error is detected, the lookup of the
   original requested records MUST be considered to have failed.

   Whether a chain of CNAME records was returned in a single stub
   resolver response or via explicit recursion by the SMTP client, if at
   any stage of recursive expansion an "insecure" CNAME record is
   encountered, then it and all subsequent results (in particular, the
   final result) MUST be considered "insecure" regardless of whether any
   earlier CNAME records leading to the "insecure" record were "secure".

   Note, a security-aware non-validating stub resolver may return to the
   SMTP client an "insecure" reply received from a validating recursive
   resolver that contains a CNAME record along with additional answers
   recursively obtained starting at the target of the CNAME.  In this
   all that one can say is that some record in the set of records
   returned is "insecure", but it is possible that the initial CNAME
   record and a subset of the subsequent records are "secure".

   If the SMTP client needs to determine the security status of the DNS
   zone containing the initial CNAME record, it may need to issue an a
   separate query of type "CNAME" that returns only the initial CNAME
   record.  In particular in Section 2.2.2 when insecure A or AAAA
   records are found for an SMTP server via a CNAME alias, it may be
   necessary to perform an additional CNAME query to determine whether
   the DNS zone in which the alias is published is signed.

2.2.  TLS discovery

   As noted previously (in Section 1.3.1), opportunistic TLS with SMTP
   servers that advertise TLS support via STARTTLS is subject to an MITM
   downgrade attack.  Also some SMTP servers that are not, in fact, TLS
   capable erroneously advertise STARTTLS by default and clients need to
   be prepared to retry cleartext delivery after STARTTLS fails.  In
   contrast, DNSSEC validated TLSA records MUST NOT be published for
   servers that do not support TLS.  Clients can safely interpret their
   presence as a commitment by the server operator to implement TLS and

   This memo defines four actions to be taken after the search for a
   TLSA record returns secure usable results, secure unusable results,
   insecure or no results or an error signal.  The term "usable" in this
   context is in the sense of Section 4.1 of [RFC6698].  Specifically,
   if the DNS lookup for a TLSA record returns:

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   A secure TLSA RRset with at least one usable record:  A connection to
      the MTA MUST be made using authenticated and encrypted TLS, using
      the techniques discussed in the rest of this document.  Failure to
      establish an authenticated TLS connection MUST result in falling
      back to the next SMTP server or delayed delivery.

   A Secure non-empty TLSA RRset where all the records are unusable:  A
      connection to the MTA MUST be made via TLS, but authentication is
      not required.  Failure to establish an encrypted TLS connection
      MUST result in falling back to the next SMTP server or delayed

   An insecure TLSA RRset or DNSSEC validated proof-of-non-existent TLSA
      A connection to the MTA SHOULD be made using (pre-DANE)
      opportunistic TLS, this includes using cleartext delivery when the
      remote SMTP server does not appear to support TLS.  The MTA MAY
      retry in cleartext when delivery via TLS fails either during the
      handshake or even during data transfer.

   Any lookup error:  Lookup errors, including "bogus" and
      "indeterminate", as explained in Section 2.1.1 MUST result in
      falling back to the next SMTP server or delayed delivery.

   An SMTP client MAY be configured to require DANE verified delivery
   for some destinations.  We will call such a configuration "mandatory
   DANE TLS".  With mandatory DANE TLS, delivery proceeds only when
   "secure" TLSA records are used to establish an encrypted and
   authenticated TLS channel with the SMTP server.

   When the original next-hop destination is an address literal, rather
   than a DNS domain, DANE TLS does not apply.  Delivery proceeds using
   any relevant security policy configured by the MTA administrator.
   Similarly, when an MX RRset incorrectly lists a network address in
   lieu of an MX hostname, if the MTA chooses to connect to the network
   address DANE TLSA does not apply for such a connection.

   In the subsections that follow we explain how to locate the SMTP
   servers and the associated TLSA records for a given next-hop
   destination domain.  We also explain which name or names are to be
   used in identity checks of the SMTP server certificate.

2.2.1.  MX resolution

   In this section we consider next-hop domains that are subject to MX
   resolution and have MX records.  The TLSA records and the associated
   base domain are derived separately for each MX hostname that is used
   to attempt message delivery.  DANE TLS can authenticate message

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   delivery to the intended next-hop domain only when the MX records are
   obtained securely via a DNSSEC validated lookup.

   MX records MUST be sorted by preference; an MX hostname with a worse
   (numerically higher) MX preference that has TLSA records MUST NOT
   preempt an MX hostname with a better (numerically lower) preference
   that has no TLSA records.  In other words, prevention of delivery
   loops by obeying MX preferences MUST take precedence over channel
   security considerations.  Even with two equal-preference MX records,
   an MTA is not obligated to choose the MX hostname that offers more
   security.  Domains that want secure inbound mail delivery need to
   ensure that all their SMTP servers and MX records are configured

   In the language of [RFC5321] Section 5.1, the original next-hop
   domain is the "initial name".  If the MX lookup of the initial name
   results in a CNAME alias, the MTA replaces the initial name with the
   resulting name and performs a new lookup with the new name.  MTAs
   typically support recursion in CNAME expansion, so this replacement
   is performed repeatedly until the ultimate non-CNAME domain is found.

   If the MX RRset (or any CNAME leading to it) is "insecure" (see
   Section 2.1.1), DANE TLS need not apply, and delivery MAY proceed via
   pre-DANE opportunistic TLS.  That said, the protocol in this memo is
   an "opportunistic security" protocol, meaning that it strives to
   communicate with each peer as securely as possible, while maintaining
   broad interoperability.  Therefore, the SMTP client MAY proceed to
   use DANE TLS (as described in Section 2.2.2 below) even with MX hosts
   obtained via an "insecure" MX RRset.  For example, when a hosting
   provider has a signed DNS zone and publishes TLSA records for its
   SMTP servers, hosted domains that are not signed may still benefit
   from the provider's TLSA records.  Deliveries via the provider's SMTP
   servers will not be subject to active attacks when sending SMTP
   clients elect to make use of the provider's TLSA records.

   When the MX records are not (DNSSEC) signed, an active attacker can
   redirect SMTP clients to MX hosts of his choice.  Such redirection is
   tamper-evident when SMTP servers found via "insecure" MX records are
   recorded as the next-hop relay in the MTA delivery logs in their
   original (rather than CNAME expanded) form.  Sending MTAs SHOULD log
   unexpanded MX hostnames when these result from insecure MX lookups.
   Any successful authentication via an insecurely determined MX host
   MUST NOT be misrepresented in the mail logs as secure delivery to the
   intended next-hop domain.  When DANE TLS is mandatory (Section 6) for
   a given destination, delivery MUST be delayed when the MX RRset is
   not "secure".

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   Otherwise, assuming no DNS errors (Section 2.1.1), the MX RRset is
   "secure", and the SMTP client MUST treat each MX hostname as a
   separate non-MX destination for opportunistic DANE TLS as described
   in Section 2.2.2.  When, for a given MX hostname, no TLSA records are
   found, or only "insecure" TLSA records are found, DANE TLSA is not
   applicable with the SMTP server in question and delivery proceeds to
   that host as with pre-DANE opportunistic TLS.  To avoid downgrade
   attacks, any errors during TLSA lookups MUST, as explained in
   Section 2.1.1, cause the SMTP server in question to be treated as

2.2.2.  Non-MX destinations

   This section describes the algorithm used to locate the TLSA records
   and associated TLSA base domain for an input domain not subject to MX
   resolution.  Such domains include:

   o  Each MX hostname used in a message delivery attempt for an
      original next-hop destination domain subject to MX resolution.
      Note, MTAs are not obligated to support CNAME expansion of MX

   o  Any administrator configured relay hostname, not subject to MX
      resolution.  This frequently involves configuration set by the MTA
      administrator to handle some or all mail.

   o  A next-hop destination domain subject to MX resolution that has no
      MX records.  In this case the domain's name is implicitly also its
      sole SMTP server name.

   Note that DNS queries with type TLSA are mishandled by load balancing
   nameservers that serve the MX hostnames of some large email
   providers.  The DNS zones served by these nameservers are not signed
   and contain no TLSA records, but queries for TLSA records fail,
   rather than returning the non-existence of the requested TLSA

   To avoid problems delivering mail to domains whose SMTP servers are
   served by the problem nameservers the SMTP client MUST perform any A
   and/or AAAA queries for the destination before attempting to locate
   the associated TLSA records.  This lookup is needed in any case to
   determine whether the destination domain is reachable and the DNSSEC
   validation status of the chain of CNAME queries required to reach the
   ultimate address records.

   If no address records are found, the destination is unreachable.  If
   address records are found, but the DNSSEC validation status of the
   first query response is "insecure" (see Section 2.1.3), the SMTP

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   client SHOULD NOT proceed to search for any associated TLSA records.
   With the problem domains, TLSA queries will lead to DNS lookup errors
   and cause messages to be consistently delayed and ultimately returned
   to the sender.  We don't expect to find any "secure" TLSA records
   associated with a TLSA base domain that lies in an unsigned DNS zone.
   Therefore, skipping TLSA lookups in this case will also reduce
   latency with no detrimental impact on security.

   If the A and/or AAAA lookup of the "initial name" yields a CNAME, we
   replace it with the resulting name as if it were the initial name and
   perform a lookup again using the new name.  This replacement is
   performed recursively.

   We consider the following cases for handling a DNS response for an A
   or AAAA DNS lookup:

   Not found:   When the DNS queries for A and/or AAAA records yield
      neither a list of addresses nor a CNAME (or CNAME expansion is not
      supported) the destination is unreachable.

   Non-CNAME:   The answer is not a CNAME alias.  If the address RRset
      is "secure", TLSA lookups are performed as described in
      Section 2.2.3 with the initial name as the candidate TLSA base
      domain.  If no "secure" TLSA records are found, DANE TLS is not
      applicable and mail delivery proceeds with pre-DANE opportunistic
      TLS (which, being best-effort, degrades to cleartext delivery when
      STARTTLS is not available or the TLS handshake fails).

   Insecure CNAME:   The input domain is a CNAME alias, but the ultimate
      network address RRset is "insecure" (see Section 2.1.1).  If the
      initial CNAME response is also "insecure", DANE TLS does not
      apply.  Otherwise, this case is treated just like the non-CNAME
      case above, where a search is performed for a TLSA record with the
      original input domain as the candidate TLSA base domain.

   Secure CNAME:   The input domain is a CNAME alias, and the ultimate
      network address RRset is "secure" (see Section 2.1.1).  Two
      candidate TLSA base domains are tried: the fully CNAME-expanded
      initial name and, failing that, then the initial name itself.

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   In summary, if it is possible to securely obtain the full, CNAME-
   expanded, DNSSEC-validated address records for the input domain, then
   that name is the preferred TLSA base domain.  Otherwise, the
   unexpanded input-MX domain is the candidate TLSA base domain.  When
   no "secure" TLSA records are found at either the CNAME-expanded or
   unexpanded domain, then DANE TLS does not apply for mail delivery via
   the input domain in question.  And, as always, errors, bogus or
   indeterminate results for any query in the process MUST result in
   delaying or abandoning delivery.

2.2.3.  TLSA record lookup

   Each candidate TLSA base domain (the original or fully CNAME-expanded
   name of a non-MX destination or a particular MX hostname of an MX
   destination) is in turn prefixed with service labels of the form
   "_<port>._tcp".  The resulting domain name is used to issue a DNSSEC
   query with the query type set to TLSA ([RFC6698] Section&nbsp;7.1).

   For SMTP, the destination TCP port is typically 25, but this may be
   different with custom routes specified by the MTA administrator in
   which case the SMTP client MUST use the appropriate number in the
   "_<port>" prefix in place of "_25".  If, for example, the candidate
   base domain is "mx.example.com", and the SMTP connection is to port
   25, the TLSA RRset is obtained via a DNSSEC query of the form:

   _25._tcp.mx.example.com. IN TLSA ?

   The query response may be a CNAME, or the actual TLSA RRset.  If the
   response is a CNAME, the SMTP client (through the use of its
   security-aware stub resolver) restarts the TLSA query at the target
   domain, following CNAMEs as appropriate and keeping track of whether
   the entire chain is "secure".  If any "insecure" records are
   encountered, or the TLSA records don't exist, the next candidate TLSA
   base is tried instead.

   If the ultimate response is a "secure" TLSA RRset, then the candidate
   TLSA base domain will be the actual TLSA base domain and the TLSA
   RRset will constitute the TLSA records for the destination.  If none
   of the candidate TLSA base domains yield "secure" TLSA records then
   delivery MAY proceed via pre-DANE opportunistic TLS.  SMTP clients
   MAY elect to use "insecure" TLSA records to avoid STARTTLS downgrades
   or even to skip SMTP servers that fail authentication, but MUST NOT
   misrepresent authentication success as either a secure connection to
   the SMTP server or as a secure delivery to the intended next-hop

   TLSA record publishers may leverage CNAMEs to reference a single
   authoritative TLSA RRset specifying a common Certification Authority

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   or a common end entity certificate to be used with multiple TLS
   services.  Such CNAME expansion does not change the SMTP client's
   notion of the TLSA base domain; thus, when _25._tcp.mx.example.com is
   a CNAME, the base domain remains mx.example.com and this is still the
   reference identifier used together with the next-hop domain in peer
   certificate name checks.

   Note, shared end entity certificate associations expose the
   publishing domain to substitution attacks, where an MITM attacker can
   reroute traffic to a different server that shares the same end entity
   certificate.  Such shared end entity records SHOULD be avoided unless
   the servers in question are functionally equivalent (an active
   attacker gains nothing by diverting client traffic from one such
   server to another).

   For example, given the DNSSEC validated records below:

     example.com.                IN MX 0 mx1.example.com.
     example.com.                IN MX 0 mx2.example.com.
     _25._tcp.mx1.example.com.   IN CNAME tlsa211._dane.example.com.
     _25._tcp.mx2.example.com.   IN CNAME tlsa211._dane.example.com.
     tlsa211._dane.example.com.  IN TLSA 2 1 1 e3b0c44298fc1c149a...

   The SMTP servers mx1.example.com and mx2.example.com will be expected
   to have certificates issued under a common trust anchor, but each MX
   hostname's TLSA base domain remains unchanged despite the above CNAME
   records.  Correspondingly, each SMTP server will be associated with a
   pair of reference identifiers consisting of its hostname plus the
   next-hop domain "example.com".

   If, during TLSA resolution (including possible CNAME indirection), at
   least one "secure" TLSA record is found (even if not usable because
   it is unsupported by the implementation or support is
   administratively disabled), then the corresponding host has signaled
   its commitment to implement TLS.  The SMTP client MUST NOT deliver
   mail via the corresponding host unless a TLS session is negotiated
   via STARTTLS.  This is required to avoid MITM STARTTLS downgrade

   As noted previously (in Section Section 2.2.2), when no "secure" TLSA
   records are found at the fully CNAME-expanded name, the original
   unexpanded name MUST be tried instead.  This supports customers of
   hosting providers where the provider's zone cannot be validated with
   DNSSEC, but the customer has shared appropriate key material with the
   hosting provider to enable TLS via SNI.  Intermediate names that
   arise during CNAME expansion that are neither the original, nor the
   final name, are never candidate TLSA base domains, even if "secure".

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3.  DANE authentication

   This section describes which TLSA records are applicable to SMTP
   opportunistic DANE TLS and how to apply such records to authenticate
   the SMTP server.  With opportunistic DANE TLS, both the TLS support
   implied by the presence of DANE TLSA records and the verification
   parameters necessary to authenticate the TLS peer are obtained
   together.  In contrast to protocols where channel security policy is
   set exclusively by the client, authentication via this protocol is
   expected to be less prone to connection failure caused by
   incompatible configuration of the client and server.

3.1.  TLSA certificate usages

   The DANE TLSA specification [RFC6698] defines multiple TLSA RR types
   via combinations of 3 numeric parameters.  The numeric values of
   these parameters were later given symbolic names in
   [I-D.ietf-dane-registry-acronyms].  The rest of the TLSA record is
   the "certificate association data field", which specifies the full or
   digest value of a certificate or public key.  The parameters are:

   The TLSA Certificate Usage field:  Section&nbsp;2.1.1 of [RFC6698]
      specifies 4 values: PKIX-TA(0), PKIX-EE(1), DANE-TA(2), and DANE-
      EE(3).  There is an additional private-use value: PrivCert(255).
      All other values are reserved for use by future specifications.

   The selector field:  Section&nbsp;2.1.2 of [RFC6698] specifies 2 values:
      Cert(0), SPKI(1).  There is an additional private-use value:
      PrivSel(255).  All other values are reserved for use by future

   The matching type field:  Section&nbsp;2.1.3 of [RFC6698] specifies 3
      values: Full(0), SHA2-256(1), SHA2-512(2).  There is an additional
      private-use value: PrivMatch(255).  All other values are reserved
      for use by future specifications.

   We may think of TLSA Certificate Usage values 0 through 3 as a
   combination of two one-bit flags.  The low bit chooses between trust
   anchor (TA) and end entity (EE) certificates.  The high bit chooses
   between public PKI issued and domain-issued certificates.

   The selector field specifies whether the TLSA RR matches the whole
   certificate: Cert(0), or just its subjectPublicKeyInfo: SPKI(1).  The
   subjectPublicKeyInfo is an ASN.1 DER encoding of the certificate's
   algorithm id, any parameters and the public key data.

   The matching type field specifies how the TLSA RR Certificate
   Association Data field is to be compared with the certificate or

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   public key.  A value of Full(0) means an exact match: the full DER
   encoding of the certificate or public key is given in the TLSA RR.  A
   value of SHA2-256(1) means that the association data matches the
   SHA2-256 digest of the certificate or public key, and likewise
   SHA2-512(2) means a SHA2-512 digest is used.

   Since opportunistic DANE TLS will be used by non-interactive MTAs,
   with no user to "press OK" when authentication fails, reliability of
   peer authentication is paramount.  Server operators are advised to
   publish TLSA records that are least likely to fail authentication due
   to interoperability or operational problems.  Because DANE TLS relies
   on coordinated changes to DNS and SMTP server settings, the best
   choice of records to publish will depend on site-specific practices.

   The certificate usage element of a TLSA record plays a critical role
   in determining how the corresponding certificate association data
   field is used to authenticate server's certificate chain.  The next
   two subsections explain the process for certificate usages DANE-EE(3)
   and DANE-TA(2).  The third subsection briefly explains why
   certificate usages PKIX-TA(0) and PKIX-EE(1) are not applicable with
   opportunistic DANE TLS.

   In summary, we recommend the use of either "DANE-EE(3) SPKI(1)
   SHA2-256(1)" or "DANE-TA(2) Cert(0) SHA2-256(1)" TLSA records
   depending on site needs.  Other combinations of TLSA parameters are
   either explicitly unsupported, or offer little to recommend them over
   these two.

   The mandatory to support digest algorithm in [RFC6698] is
   SHA2-256(1).  When the server's TLSA RRset includes records with a
   matching type indicating a digest record (i.e., a value other than
   Full(0)), a TLSA record with a SHA2-256(1) matching type SHOULD be
   provided along with any other digest published, since some SMTP
   clients may support only SHA2-256(1).  If at some point the SHA2-256
   digest algorithm is tarnished by new cryptanalytic attacks,
   publishers will need to include an appropriate stronger digest in
   their TLSA records, initially along with, and ultimately in place of,

3.1.1.  Certificate usage DANE-EE(3)

   Authentication via certificate usage DANE-EE(3) TLSA records involves
   simply checking that the server's leaf certificate matches the TLSA
   record.  In particular the binding of the server public key to its
   name is based entirely on the TLSA record association.  The server
   MUST be considered authenticated even if none of the names in the
   certificate match the client's reference identity for the server.

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   Similarly, the expiration date of the server certificate MUST be
   ignored, the validity period of the TLSA record key binding is
   determined by the validity interval of the TLSA record DNSSEC

   With DANE-EE(3) servers need not employ SNI (may ignore the client's
   SNI message) even when the server is known under independent names
   that would otherwise require separate certificates.  It is instead
   sufficient for the TLSA RRsets for all the domains in question to
   match the server's default certificate.  Of course with SMTP servers
   it is simpler still to publish the same MX hostname for all the
   hosted domains.

   For domains where it is practical to make coordinated changes in DNS
   TLSA records during SMTP server key rotation, it is often best to
   publish end-entity DANE-EE(3) certificate associations.  DANE-EE(3)
   certificates don't suddenly stop working when leaf or intermediate
   certificates expire, and don't fail when the server operator neglects
   to configure all the required issuer certificates in the server
   certificate chain.

   TLSA records published for SMTP servers SHOULD, in most cases, be
   "DANE-EE(3) SPKI(1) SHA2-256(1)" records.  Since all DANE
   implementations are required to support SHA2-256, this record type
   works for all clients and need not change across certificate renewals
   with the same key.

3.1.2.  Certificate usage DANE-TA(2)

   Some domains may prefer to avoid the operational complexity of
   publishing unique TLSA RRs for each TLS service.  If the domain
   employs a common issuing Certification Authority to create
   certificates for multiple TLS services, it may be simpler to publish
   the issuing authority as a trust anchor (TA) for the certificate
   chains of all relevant services.  The TLSA query domain (TLSA base
   domain with port and protocol prefix labels) for each service issued
   by the same TA may then be set to a CNAME alias that points to a
   common TLSA RRset that matches the TA.  For example:

     example.com.                IN MX 0 mx1.example.com.
     example.com.                IN MX 0 mx2.example.com.
     _25._tcp.mx1.example.com.   IN CNAME tlsa211._dane.example.com.
     _25._tcp.mx2.example.com.   IN CNAME tlsa211._dane.example.com.
     tlsa211._dane.example.com.  IN TLSA 2 1 1 e3b0c44298fc1c14....

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   With usage DANE-TA(2) the server certificates will need to have names
   that match one of the client's reference identifiers (see [RFC6125]).
   The server MAY employ SNI to select the appropriate certificate to
   present to the client.

   SMTP servers that rely on certificate usage DANE-TA(2) TLSA records
   for TLS authentication MUST include the TA certificate as part of the
   certificate chain presented in the TLS handshake server certificate
   message even when it is a self-signed root certificate.  At this
   time, many SMTP servers are not configured with a comprehensive list
   of trust anchors, nor are they expected to at any point in the
   future.  Some MTAs will ignore all locally trusted certificates when
   processing usage DANE-TA(2) TLSA records.  Thus even when the TA
   happens to be a public Certification Authority known to the SMTP
   client, authentication is likely to fail unless the TA certificate is
   included in the TLS server certificate message.

   TLSA records with selector Full(0) are discouraged.  While these
   potentially obviate the need to transmit the TA certificate in the
   TLS server certificate message, client implementations may not be
   able to augment the server certificate chain with the data obtained
   from DNS, especially when the TLSA record supplies a bare key
   (selector SPKI(1)).  Since the server will need to transmit the TA
   certificate in any case, server operators SHOULD publish TLSA records
   with a selector other than Full(0) and avoid potential
   interoperability issues with large TLSA records containing full
   certificates or keys.

   TLSA Publishers employing DANE-TA(2) records SHOULD publish records
   with a selector of Cert(0).  Such TLSA records are associated with
   the whole trust anchor certificate, not just with the trust anchor
   public key.  In particular, the SMTP client SHOULD then apply any
   relevant constraints from the trust anchor certificate, such as, for
   example, path length constraints.

   While a selector of SPKI(1) may also be employed, the resulting TLSA
   record will not specify the full trust anchor certificate content,
   and elements of the trust anchor certificate other than the public
   key become mutable.  This may, for example, allow a subsidiary CA to
   issue a chain that violates the trust anchor's path length or name

3.1.3.  Certificate usages PKIX-TA(0) and PKIX-EE(1)

   As noted in the introduction, SMTP clients cannot, without relying on
   DNSSEC for secure MX records and DANE for STARTTLS support signaling,
   perform server identity verification or prevent STARTTLS downgrade
   attacks.  The use of PKIX CAs offers no added security since an

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   attacker capable of compromising DNSSEC is free to replace any PKIX-
   TA(0) or PKIX-EE(1) TLSA records with records bearing any convenient
   non-PKIX certificate usage.

   SMTP servers SHOULD NOT publish TLSA RRs with certificate usage PKIX-
   TA(0) or PKIX-EE(1).  SMTP clients cannot be expected to be
   configured with a suitably complete set of trusted public CAs.
   Lacking a complete set of public CAs, clients would not be able to
   verify the certificates of SMTP servers whose issuing root CAs are
   not trusted by the client.

   Opportunistic DANE TLS needs to interoperate without bilateral
   coordination of security settings between client and server systems.
   Therefore, parameter choices that are fragile in the absence of
   bilateral coordination are unsupported.  Nothing is lost since the
   PKIX certificate usages cannot aid SMTP TLS security, they can only
   impede SMTP TLS interoperability.

   SMTP client treatment of TLSA RRs with certificate usages PKIX-TA(0)
   or PKIX-EE(1) is undefined.  SMTP clients should generally treat such
   TLSA records as unusable.

3.2.  Certificate matching

   When at least one usable "secure" TLSA record is found, the SMTP
   client MUST use TLSA records to authenticate the SMTP server.
   Messages MUST NOT be delivered via the SMTP server if authentication
   fails, otherwise the SMTP client is vulnerable to MITM attacks.

3.2.1.  DANE-EE(3) name checks

   The SMTP client MUST NOT perform certificate name checks with
   certificate usage DANE-EE(3), see Section 3.1.1 above.

3.2.2.  DANE-TA(2) name checks

   To match a server via a TLSA record with certificate usage DANE-
   TA(2), the client MUST perform name checks to ensure that it has
   reached the correct server.  In all DANE-TA(2) cases the SMTP client
   MUST include the TLSA base domain as one of the valid reference
   identifiers for matching the server certificate.

   TLSA records for MX hostnames:  If the TLSA base domain was obtained
      indirectly via a "secure" MX lookup (including any CNAME-expanded
      name of an MX hostname), then the original next-hop domain used in
      the MX lookup MUST be included as as a second reference
      identifier.  The CNAME-expanded original next-hop domain MUST be
      included as a third reference identifier if different from the

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      original next-hop domain.  When the client MTA is employing DANE
      TLS security despite "insecure" MX redirection the MX hostname is
      the only reference identifier.

   TLSA records for Non-MX hostnames:  If MX records were not used
      (e.g., if none exist) and the TLSA base domain is the CNAME-
      expanded original next-hop domain, then the original next-hop
      domain MUST be included as a second reference identifier.

   Accepting certificates with the original next-hop domain in addition
   to the MX hostname allows a domain with multiple MX hostnames to
   field a single certificate bearing a single domain name (i.e., the
   email domain) across all the SMTP servers.  This also aids
   interoperability with pre-DANE SMTP clients that are configured to
   look for the email domain name in server certificates.  For example,
   with "secure" DNS records as below:

     exchange.example.org.            IN CNAME mail.example.org.
     mail.example.org.                IN CNAME example.com.
     example.com.                     IN MX    10 mx10.example.com.
     example.com.                     IN MX    15 mx15.example.com.
     example.com.                     IN MX    20 mx20.example.com.
     mx10.example.com.                IN A
     _25._tcp.mx10.example.com.       IN TLSA  2 0 1 ...
     mx15.example.com.                IN CNAME mxbackup.example.com.
     mxbackup.example.com.            IN A
     ; _25._tcp.mxbackup.example.com. IN TLSA ? (NXDOMAIN)
     _25._tcp.mx15.example.com.       IN TLSA  2 0 1 ...
     mx20.example.com.                IN CNAME mxbackup.example.net.
     mxbackup.example.net.            IN A
     _25._tcp.mxbackup.example.net.   IN TLSA  2 0 1 ...

   Certificate name checks for delivery of mail to exchange.example.org
   via any of the associated SMTP servers MUST accept at least the names
   "exchange.example.org" and "example.com", which are respectively the
   original and fully expanded next-hop domain.  When the SMTP server is
   mx10.example.com, name checks MUST accept the TLSA base domain
   "mx10.example.com".  If, despite the fact that MX hostnames are
   required to not be aliases, the MTA supports delivery via
   "mx15.example.com" or "mx20.example.com" then name checks MUST accept
   the respective TLSA base domains "mx15.example.com" and

3.2.3.  Reference identifier matching

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   When name checks are applicable (certificate usage DANE-TA(2)), if
   the server certificate contains a Subject Alternative Name extension
   ([RFC5280]), with at least one DNS-ID ([RFC6125]) then only the DNS-
   IDs are matched against the client's reference identifiers.  The CN-
   ID ([RFC6125]) is only considered when no DNS-IDs are present.  The
   server certificate is considered matched when one of its presented
   identifiers ([RFC5280]) matches any of the client's reference

   Wildcards are valid in either DNS-IDs or the CN-ID when applicable.
   The wildcard character must be entire first label of the DNS-ID or
   CN-ID.  Thus, "*.example.com" is valid, while "smtp*.example.com" and
   "*smtp.example.com" are not.  SMTP clients MUST support wildcards
   that match the first label of the reference identifier, with the
   remaining labels matching verbatim.  For example, the DNS-ID
   "*.example.com" matches the reference identifier "mx1.example.com".
   SMTP clients MAY, subject to local policy allow wildcards to match
   multiple reference identifier labels, but servers cannot expect broad
   support for such a policy.  Therefore any wildcards in server
   certificates SHOULD match exactly one label in either the TLSA base
   domain or the next-hop domain.

4.  Server key management

   Two TLSA records MUST be published before employing a new EE or TA
   public key or certificate, one matching the currently deployed key
   and the other matching the new key scheduled to replace it.  Once
   sufficient time has elapsed for all DNS caches to expire the previous
   TLSA RRset and related signature RRsets, servers may be configured to
   use the new EE private key and associated public key certificate or
   may employ certificates signed by the new trust anchor.

   Once the new public key or certificate is in use, the TLSA RR that
   matches the retired key can be removed from DNS, leaving only RRs
   that match keys or certificates in active use.

   As described in Section 3.1.2, when server certificates are validated
   via a DANE-TA(2) trust anchor, and CNAME records are employed to
   store the TA association data at a single location, the
   responsibility of updating the TLSA RRset shifts to the operator of
   the trust anchor.  Before a new trust anchor is used to sign any new
   server certificates, its certificate (digest) is added to the
   relevant TLSA RRset.  After enough time elapses for the original TLSA
   RRset to age out of DNS caches, the new trust anchor can start
   issuing new server certificates.  Once all certificates issued under
   the previous trust anchor have expired, its associated RRs can be
   removed from the TLSA RRset.

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   In the DANE-TA(2) key management model server operators do not
   generally need to update DNS TLSA records after initially creating a
   CNAME record that references the centrally operated DANE-TA(2) RRset.
   If a particular server's key is compromised, its TLSA CNAME SHOULD be
   replaced with a DANE-EE(3) association until the certificate for the
   compromised key expires, at which point it can return to using CNAME
   record.  If the central trust anchor is compromised, all servers need
   to be issued new keys by a new TA, and a shared DANE-TA(2) TLSA RRset
   needs to be published containing just the new TA.  SMTP servers
   cannot expect broad SMTP client CRL or OCSP support.

5.  Digest algorithm agility

   While [RFC6698] specifies multiple digest algorithms, it does not
   specify a protocol by which the SMTP client and TLSA record publisher
   can agree on the strongest shared algorithm.  Such a protocol would
   allow the client and server to avoid exposure to any deprecated
   weaker algorithms that are published for compatibility with less
   capable clients, but should be ignored when possible.  We specify
   such a protocol below.

   Suppose that a DANE TLS client authenticating a TLS server considers
   digest algorithm "BetterAlg" stronger than digest algorithm
   "WorseAlg".  Suppose further that a server's TLSA RRset contains some
   records with "BetterAlg" as the digest algorithm.  Finally, suppose
   that for every raw public key or certificate object that is included
   in the server's TLSA RRset in digest form, whenever that object
   appears with algorithm "WorseAlg" with some usage and selector it
   also appears with algorithm "BetterAlg" with the same usage and
   selector.  In that case our client can safely ignore TLSA records
   with the weaker algorithm "WorseAlg", because it suffices to check
   the records with the stronger algorithm "BetterAlg".

   Server operators MUST ensure that for any given usage and selector,
   each object (certificate or public key), for which a digest
   association exists in the TLSA RRset, is published with the SAME SET
   of digest algorithms as all other objects that published with that
   usage and selector.  In other words, for each usage and selector, the
   records with non-zero matching types will correspond to on a cross-
   product of a set of underlying objects and a fixed set of digest
   algorithms that apply uniformly to all the objects.

   To achieve digest algorithm agility, all published TLSA RRsets for
   use with opportunistic DANE TLS for SMTP MUST conform to the above
   requirements.  Then, for each combination of usage and selector, SMTP
   clients can simply ignore all digest records except those that employ
   the strongest digest algorithm.  The ordering of digest algorithms by
   strength is not specified in advance, it is entirely up to the SMTP

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   client.  SMTP client implementations SHOULD make the digest algorithm
   preference order configurable.  Only the future will tell which
   algorithms might be weakened by new attacks and when.

   Note, TLSA records with a matching type of Full(0), that publish the
   full value of a certificate or public key object, play no role in
   digest algorithm agility.  They neither trump the processing of
   records that employ digests, nor are they ignored in the presence of
   any records with a digest (i.e. non-zero) matching type.

   SMTP clients SHOULD use digest algorithm agility when processing the
   DANE TLSA records of an SMTP server.  Algorithm agility is to be
   applied after first discarding any unusable or malformed records
   (unsupported digest algorithm, or incorrect digest length).  Thus,
   for each usage and selector, the client SHOULD process only any
   usable records with a matching type of Full(0) and the usable records
   whose digest algorithm is believed to be the strongest among usable
   records with the given usage and selector.

   The main impact of this requirement is on key rotation, when the TLSA
   RRset is pre-populated with digests of new certificates or public
   keys, before these replace or augment their predecessors.  Were the
   newly introduced RRs to include previously unused digest algorithms,
   clients that employ this protocol could potentially ignore all the
   digests corresponding to the current keys or certificates, causing
   connectivity issues until the new keys or certificates are deployed.
   Similarly, publishing new records with fewer digests could cause
   problems for clients using cached TLSA RRsets that list both the old
   and new objects once the new keys are deployed.

   To avoid problems, server operators SHOULD apply the following

   o  When changing the set of objects published via the TLSA RRset
      (e.g. during key rotation), DO NOT change the set of digest
      algorithms used; change just the list of objects.

   o  When changing the set of digest algorithms, change only the set of
      algorithms, and generate a new RRset in which all the current
      objects are re-published with the new set of digest algorithms.

   After either of these two changes are made, the new TLSA RRset should
   be left in place long enough that the older TLSA RRset can be flushed
   from caches before making another change.

6.  Mandatory TLS Security

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   An MTA implementing this protocol may require a stronger security
   assurance when sending email to selected destinations.  The sending
   organization may need to send sensitive email and/or may have
   regulatory obligations to protect its content.  This protocol is not
   in conflict with such a requirement, and in fact can often simplify
   authenticated delivery to such destinations.

   Specifically, with domains that publish DANE TLSA records for their
   MX hostnames, a sending MTA can be configured to use the receiving
   domains's DANE TLSA records to authenticate the corresponding SMTP
   server.  Authentication via DANE TLSA records is easier to manage, as
   changes in the receiver's expected certificate properties are made on
   the receiver end and don't require manually communicated
   configuration changes.  With mandatory DANE TLS, when no usable TLSA
   records are found, message delivery is delayed.  Thus, mail is only
   sent when an authenticated TLS channel is established to the remote
   SMTP server.

   Administrators of mail servers that employ mandatory DANE TLS, need
   to carefully monitor their mail logs and queues.  If a partner domain
   unwittingly misconfigures their TLSA records, disables DNSSEC, or
   misconfigures SMTP server certificate chains, mail will be delayed
   and may bounce if the issue is not resolved in a timely manner.

7.  Note on DANE for Message User Agents

   We note that the SMTP protocol is also used between Message User
   Agents (MUAs) and Message Submission Agents (MSAs) [RFC6409].  In
   [RFC6186] a protocol is specified that enables an MUA to dynamically
   locate the MSA based on the user's email address.  SMTP connection
   security considerations for MUAs implementing [RFC6186] are largely
   analogous to connection security requirements for MTAs, and this
   specification could be applied largely verbatim with DNS MX records
   replaced by corresponding DNS Service (SRV) records

   However, until MUAs begin to adopt the dynamic configuration
   mechanisms of [RFC6186] they are adequately served by more
   traditional static TLS security policies.  Specification of DANE TLS
   for Message User Agent (MUA) to Message Submission Agent (MSA) SMTP
   is left to future documents that focus specifically on SMTP security
   between MUAs and MSAs.

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8.  Interoperability considerations

8.1.  SNI support

   To ensure that the server sends the right certificate chain, the SMTP
   client MUST send the TLS SNI extension containing the TLSA base
   domain.  This precludes the use of the backward compatible SSL 2.0
   compatible SSL HELLO by the SMTP client.  The minimum SSL/TLS client
   HELLO version for SMTP clients performing DANE authentication is SSL
   3.0, but a client that offers SSL 3.0 MUST also offer at least TLS
   1.0 and MUST include the SNI extension.  Servers that don't make use
   of SNI MAY negotiate SSL 3.0 if offered by the client.

   Each SMTP server MUST present a certificate chain (see [RFC5246]
   Section&nbsp;7.4.2) that matches at least one of the TLSA records.  The
   server MAY rely on SNI to determine which certificate chain to
   present to the client.  Clients that don't send SNI information may
   not see the expected certificate chain.

   If the server's TLSA records match the server's default certificate
   chain, the server need not support SNI.  In either case, the server
   need not include the SNI extension in its TLS HELLO as simply
   returning a matching certificate chain is sufficient.  Servers MUST
   NOT enforce the use of SNI by clients, as the client may be using
   unauthenticated opportunistic TLS and may not expect any particular
   certificate from the server.  If the client sends no SNI extension,
   or sends an SNI extension for an unsupported domain, the server MUST
   simply send some fallback certificate chain of its choice.  The
   reason for not enforcing strict matching of the requested SNI
   hostname is that DANE TLS clients are typically willing to accept
   multiple server names, but can only send one name in the SNI
   extension.  The server's fallback certificate may match a different
   name acceptable to the client, e.g., the original next-hop domain.

8.2.  Anonymous TLS cipher suites

   Since many SMTP servers either do not support or do not enable any
   anonymous TLS cipher suites, SMTP client TLS HELLO messages SHOULD
   offer to negotiate a typical set of non-anonymous cipher suites
   required for interoperability with such servers.  An SMTP client
   employing pre-DANE opportunistic TLS MAY in addition include one or
   more anonymous TLS cipher suites in its TLS HELLO.  SMTP servers,
   that need to interoperate with opportunistic TLS clients SHOULD be
   prepared to interoperate with such clients by either always selecting
   a mutually supported non-anonymous cipher suite or by correctly
   handling client connections that negotiate anonymous cipher suites.

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   Note that while SMTP server operators are under no obligation to
   enable anonymous cipher suites, no security is gained by sending
   certificates to clients that will ignore them.  Indeed support for
   anonymous cipher suites in the server makes audit trails more
   informative.  Log entries that record connections that employed an
   anonymous cipher suite record the fact that the clients did not care
   to authenticate the server.

9.  Operational Considerations

9.1.  Client Operational Considerations

   An operational error on the sending or receiving side that cannot be
   corrected in a timely manner may, at times, lead to consistent
   failure to deliver time-sensitive email.  The sending MTA
   administrator may have to choose between letting email queue until
   the error is resolved and disabling opportunistic or mandatory DANE
   TLS for one or more destinations.  The choice to disable DANE TLS
   security should not be made lightly.  Every reasonable effort should
   be made to determine that problems with mail delivery are the result
   of an operational error, and not an attack.  A fallback strategy may
   be to configure explicit out-of-band TLS security settings if
   supported by the sending MTA.

   SMTP clients may deploy opportunistic DANE TLS incrementally by
   enabling it only for selected sites, or may occasionally need to
   disable opportunistic DANE TLS for peers that fail to interoperate
   due to misconfiguration or software defects on either end.  Some
   implementations MAY support DANE TLS in an "audit only" mode in which
   failure to achieve the requisite security level is logged as a
   warning and delivery proceeds at a reduced security level.  Unless
   local policy specifies "audit only" or that opportunistic DANE TLS is
   not to be used for a particular destination, an SMTP client MUST NOT
   deliver mail via a server whose certificate chain fails to match at
   least one TLSA record when usable TLSA records are found for that

9.2.  Publisher Operational Considerations

   SMTP servers that publish certificate usage DANE-TA(2) associations
   MUST include the TA certificate in their TLS server certificate
   chain, even when that TA certificate is a self-signed root

   TLSA Publishers must follow the digest agility guidelines in
   Section 5 and must make sure that all objects published in digest
   form for a particular usage and selector are published with the same
   set of digest algorithms.

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   TLSA Publishers should follow the TLSA publication size guidance
   found in [I-D.ietf-dane-ops] about "DANE DNS Record Size Guidelines".

10.  Security Considerations

   This protocol leverages DANE TLSA records to implement MITM resistant
   opportunistic channel security for SMTP.  For destination domains
   that sign their MX records and publish signed TLSA records for their
   MX hostnames, this protocol allows sending MTAs to securely discover
   both the availability of TLS and how to authenticate the destination.

   This protocol does not aim to secure all SMTP traffic, as that is not
   practical until DNSSEC and DANE adoption are universal.  The
   incremental deployment provided by following this specification is a
   best possible path for securing SMTP.  This protocol coexists and
   interoperates with the existing insecure Internet email backbone.

   The protocol does not preclude existing non-opportunistic SMTP TLS
   security arrangements, which can continue to be used as before via
   manual configuration with negotiated out-of-band key and TLS
   configuration exchanges.

   Opportunistic SMTP TLS depends critically on DNSSEC for downgrade
   resistance and secure resolution of the destination name.  If DNSSEC
   is compromised, it is not possible to fall back on the public CA PKI
   to prevent MITM attacks.  A successful breach of DNSSEC enables the
   attacker to publish TLSA usage 3 certificate associations, and
   thereby bypass any security benefit the legitimate domain owner might
   hope to gain by publishing usage 0 or 1 TLSA RRs.  Given the lack of
   public CA PKI support in existing MTA deployments, avoiding
   certificate usages 0 and 1 simplifies implementation and deployment
   with no adverse security consequences.

   Implementations must strictly follow the portions of this
   specification that indicate when it is appropriate to initiate a non-
   authenticated connection or cleartext connection to a SMTP server.
   Specifically, in order to prevent downgrade attacks on this protocol,
   implementation must not initiate a connection when this specification
   indicates a particular SMTP server must be considered unreachable.

11.  IANA considerations

   This specification requires no support from IANA.

12.  Acknowledgements

   The authors would like to extend great thanks to Tony Finch, who
   started the original version of a DANE SMTP document.  His work is

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   greatly appreciated and has been incorporated into this document.
   The authors would like to additionally thank Phil Pennock for his
   comments and advice on this document.

   Acknowledgments from Viktor: Thanks to Paul Hoffman who motivated me
   to begin work on this memo and provided feedback on early drafts.
   Thanks to Patrick Koetter, Perry Metzger and Nico Williams for
   valuable review comments.  Thanks also to Wietse Venema who created
   Postfix, and whose advice and feedback were essential to the
   development of the Postfix DANE implementation.

13.  References

13.1.  Normative References

              Dukhovni, V. and W. Hardaker, "DANE TLSA implementation
              and operational guidance", draft-ietf-dane-ops-00 (work in
              progress), October 2013.

   [RFC1035]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain names - implementation and
              specification", STD 13, RFC 1035, November 1987.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC3207]  Hoffman, P., "SMTP Service Extension for Secure SMTP over
              Transport Layer Security", RFC 3207, February 2002.

   [RFC4033]  Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
              Rose, "DNS Security Introduction and Requirements", RFC
              4033, March 2005.

   [RFC4034]  Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
              Rose, "Resource Records for the DNS Security Extensions",
              RFC 4034, March 2005.

   [RFC4035]  Arends, R., Austein, R., Larson, M., Massey, D., and S.
              Rose, "Protocol Modifications for the DNS Security
              Extensions", RFC 4035, March 2005.

   [RFC5246]  Dierks, T. and E. Rescorla, "The Transport Layer Security
              (TLS) Protocol Version 1.2", RFC 5246, August 2008.

   [RFC5280]  Cooper, D., Santesson, S., Farrell, S., Boeyen, S.,
              Housley, R., and W. Polk, "Internet X.509 Public Key
              Infrastructure Certificate and Certificate Revocation List
              (CRL) Profile", RFC 5280, May 2008.

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   [RFC5321]  Klensin, J., "Simple Mail Transfer Protocol", RFC 5321,
              October 2008.

   [RFC6066]  Eastlake, D., "Transport Layer Security (TLS) Extensions:
              Extension Definitions", RFC 6066, January 2011.

   [RFC6125]  Saint-Andre, P. and J. Hodges, "Representation and
              Verification of Domain-Based Application Service Identity
              within Internet Public Key Infrastructure Using X.509
              (PKIX) Certificates in the Context of Transport Layer
              Security (TLS)", RFC 6125, March 2011.

   [RFC6186]  Daboo, C., "Use of SRV Records for Locating Email
              Submission/Access Services", RFC 6186, March 2011.

   [RFC6672]  Rose, S. and W. Wijngaards, "DNAME Redirection in the
              DNS", RFC 6672, June 2012.

   [RFC6698]  Hoffman, P. and J. Schlyter, "The DNS-Based Authentication
              of Named Entities (DANE) Transport Layer Security (TLS)
              Protocol: TLSA", RFC 6698, August 2012.

13.2.  Informative References

              Gudmundsson, O., "Adding acronyms to simplify DANE
              conversations", draft-ietf-dane-registry-acronyms-01 (work
              in progress), October 2013.

              Finch, T., "Using DNS-Based Authentication of Named
              Entities (DANE) TLSA records with SRV and MX records.",
              draft-ietf-dane-srv-02 (work in progress), February 2013.

   [RFC5598]  Crocker, D., "Internet Mail Architecture", RFC 5598, July

   [RFC6409]  Gellens, R. and J. Klensin, "Message Submission for Mail",
              STD 72, RFC 6409, November 2011.

Authors' Addresses

   Viktor Dukhovni
   Two Sigma

   Email: ietf-dane@dukhovni.org

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   Wes Hardaker
   P.O. Box 382
   Davis, CA  95617

   Email: ietf@hardakers.net

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